4th October 2011
Liverpool light-welterweight (64kg) Thomas Stalker beat Russia’s Alexander Solyanikov 17-9 to reach the quarter-finals of the World championships in Baku today, which also guarantees his place in the London 2012 Olympic games next summer.
Stalker 27, was level on points with Solyanikov at 3-3 after a close fought first round but by the second round Stalker’s skills saw him go in-front on the judges scoring to claim a monumental victory and secure his place in the London games.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games champion and European silver medallist Stalker says he only took up boxing aged 18 to avoid a life of crime. He moved up to 64kg after winning last year’s GB Championships at lightweight.
The final score of 17:9 proved a mark of Stalkers superiority over his Russian opponent.
The Liverpudlian recently won the BOA Athlete of the Year award and was named Amateur Boxer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Club of Great Britain.
“I only started boxing to get myself off the streets and out of trouble, so I never would have thought I’d be preparing for an Olympic Games.” said Stalker.
“If it all ended tomorrow I’d be happy with everything I’ve achieved, but I do feel excited now the countdown’s begun.” he added.
Three more boxers from the Great Britain boxing team have the chance to join Stalker in guaranteeing their Olympic places later today – Luke Campbell, Anthony Ogogo and Welshman Fred Evans.
We will follow up with the fight reports after the finals.
Good luck to Thomas and the lads today!